Colt .38 Super with highly polished stainless steel finish, and walnut grips

The Colt .38 Super was an offshoot of the original Colt 1911. In 1929, when the Colt .38 Super was introduced, the .38 Super was the most powerful cartridge made for semi-automatic pistols, more powerful than even the .45 ACP for which the 1911 was originally chambered.

The Colt .38 Super saw a renewed interest in the 1970's, when competition shooters saw the cartridge as an attractive alternative to the .45, with a nine round magazine, less recoil, and less expensive ammunition.

Currently, the .38 Super model is available in a brightly-polished stainless finish, as shown in the photo above. The stainless model above sports walnut grips. Other grip styles are available from the custom shop. Blued models such as the one shown below can be found used or as new in box.

The flat grip safety, solid trigger, and spur hammer are true to the original 1911 model. The notch rear sight and low front sight blade are the same as you'd find on 1911's nearly a century ago as well. The quality of construction and reliability of function, though, are pure 2011 Colt.

Colt .38 Super in blued finish with walnut grips. The blued model of the .38 Super is no longer in production, but can be found in the used market


  • Single action
  • 3 white dot sights
  • Caliber: .38 Super
  • 9 round magazine
  • Beveled magazine well
  • Standard thumb safety and service style grip safety
  • 5” barrel length
  • 81⁄2” overall length

Name:. Colt Custom 38 Super
Frame material: Stainless steel
Frame finish: Highly polished stainless steel ("bright" stainless)
Barrel length: 5"
Overall length: 81⁄2”
Caliber: .38 Super
Capacity: 9 + 1
Hammer: Combat
Trigger: Aluminum
Action: Single
Front sight: White dot
Rear sight: White dot
Grips: Wraparound checkered rubber composite grips on the stainless model, Double diamond rosewood grips on the bright stainless, Wraparound checkered rubber composite grips on the blued model
Grip safety: Beavertail
Thumb safety: Standard

Click here to visit Gunshopfinder.com's Colt page. Or to find a Colt dealer near you, select a state and then click "Submit."

Reviews Of The Colt .38 Super

Overall Rating: review stars, 4.5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Dr. S., Long Beach, CA
June 24, 2015

Primary use: Target Shooting

"Exquisite gun. Mine is Gold Cup National Match, Lew Horton edition, El Teniente, high polish royal blue, skeleton adjustable trigger and skeleton hammer - both brushed), imitation mother pearl grips with Colt (C like snake) logo, fully adjustable rear sight, brushed stainless barrel. Except for fancy grips, no ornaments of any kind.

Its reliability an accuracy is superb. No jams, mild recoil, easy to control on target. I shoot it rearly because I dont want to scratch its mirror-like polish.

If my anti-gun government woul allow me to keep only one firearm, I would be heart broken but I would keep this one. Colt and Horton did a really bgood job on it."

Overall Rating: review stars, 4.5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By dave b, Griffin, GA
April 2, 2015

Primary use: Target Shooting

"I have always carried a 1911 in 45acp for the past 40yrs and have recently acquired a Colt 1911 Gov. Model in 38 Super. It was born in 1951 and is a 97% gun with very slight wear where it has been kept in a sock in a drawer. I have fired this weapon, starting out to just shoot it a few times, and pretty soon the 100 rds that came with the pistol were gone. The groups were tight and shot well at the 50ft target.I plan to reload my own since the shells are not as available in this neck of the woods.

I have not had that much fun with my pants on in a long time. I do love my 45's and carry an officers model everyday. I have a carry permit. Where I go my colt is always reachable."

Overall Rating: review stars, 4.5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Michael, Bulverde, TX
August 17, 2014

Primary use: Defense/Law Enforcement

"I owned a Colt Combat Commander in .38 Super for many years and it was my constant carry piece. I lost it (long story) and bought my current lightweight Commander 2 years ago. Again, it is my constant carry piece. I load 120 grain, JHP at about 1300 fps and it shoots to point of aim from 15 to 7 yards. Great cartridge and as you would expect, the Colt is a fine handgun."

Overall Rating: review stars, 4.5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By don, burlington, Iowa
December 25, 2013

Primary use: Target Shooting

"i absolutely love this gun, a nine mm. magnum is a good description of it , also the coolest round most people have never shot, most gun stores dont carry the ammo, but readily available on the internet. if you dont have one, get one"

Overall Rating: review stars, 4.5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Travis S, Seattle, WA
March 15, 2013

Primary use: Defense/Law Enforcement

"I have a 1969 that is an exact match to the picture shown above. (Brown handles, Blued Slide). Mine has CS numbers and has been in a safe most of it's life, therefore is in virtually perfect condition. I have only been to the range a couple times with it, because I do not want to put too many rounds through a pistol like this, it's just to beautiful! Haha, if that makes sense!

It's a classic, so much so that I had never even heard of a .38 Super before picking this one up! Yes...I'm a bit of a noob on anything other than your typical street guns...AK, 9mm etc..

But I love it and plan on keeping it in pristine condition for the next 40 years!"

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By gcorrell, Olive Branch, MS
March 6, 2013

Primary use: Defense/Law Enforcement

"My Colt is a Govt. Model 1911, recent manufacture, in standard trim. It has proven totaly reliable, suffering zero malfunctions with 130 grain FMJ (for practice) or Wilson Combat's 124 grain JHP (for duty carry). I have fired 520 rounds so far. All magazines are current Colt standard 9 round magazines. Accuracy has been great, producing 2 & 1/2 to 3 inch groups with the cheaper practice ammo. The Wilson Combat ammo was good for 2 inches off sandbags at 25 yards."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Ricky, National City, CA
December 19, 2012

Primary use: Target Shooting

"i owned a mark 4 series 80 pistol before and it is the best gun i ever had."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Love it!!!, Travis, Washington
October 22, 2012

Primary use: Target Shooting

"I picked up the .38 Super only by chance, someone I know was having hard times and had to let go of their baby.

I have a 1969 Colt .38 Super in flawless condition, looks like its been in a safe for 40 years. It came with a conversion kit to .22 LR, that is also in perfect condition. It's from 1947!! So as much as I love this pistol, I'm a little scared to even touch it because it's in such good shape!"

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By MN43Colt Corpus Christi, TX
October 8, 2011

Primary use: Defense/Law Enforcement

"My .38 Super 70 series belonged to my father and was given to me when he passed away 20 years ago. I am in the military and remember the 45, which was a very nice handgun. Then we switched to the 9mm, a very poor choice. Well, that is my opinion. The 38 super has very reliable and I would not let it go for anything. When in time of need, it has been there for me and my family. My plan is to pass it on to my oldest grandson. When we go hunting, it is my backup and holds it own."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Paul B. , Las Vegas, NV
August 21, 2011

Primary use: Target Shooting

"The .38 Super has been an under-rated cartridge for far to long. Its performance is far superior to the 9mm, and it is a cartridge that beats the .45 hands down. Less recoil, with better ballistics, more rounds per magazine, without having to go to a double stack.

It was once asked if there were going to be a 9mm magnum in the works. I believe it was the late Skeeter Skelton, that replied that "...there already is. It is the .38 Super...".

If the gun industry would make a light weight carry .38 super, there would be a ready market for it, and I would be at the head of the line. As a former Army MP, I believe that this is the cartridge the military should have gone with, instead of the silly 9mm.

If one takes into consideration the weight factor of the ammo, the velocity of ammo, the accuracy of this round, and that a woman can shoot this with less trouble, it only makes sense to use and accept a round that is perfect for a military mission. Now lets examine that stupid 9mm..."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By RaceGun, Sheboygan, WI
May 21, 2011

Primary use: Target Shooting

"I used a Colt .38 Super back in the 1980's for IPSC. Like an idiot I sold it for $600 to buy something else! Six months ago I was in a gun store and saw a shiny new .38 Super in the display case, and I was bitten again. It's even better than the one I had back in the 80's. This time it's not getting sold!"

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